We nearly did a “Dale Steyn’s back” piece. Steyn’s actually been back for a while (he’s been back repeatedly, in fact) but this was the match when we saw fit to extract him from the fast-medium drawer and plonk him back into the fast bowler drawer. This was when he was back back.
Steyn took four wickets in Sri Lanka’s first innings and he did it in the time-honoured Steyn way. (These are the ingredients of a Dale Steyn.)
Steyn is a bowler who was Lord Megachief of Gold 2010 and also Lord Megachief of Gold 2013 and he was bowling much as he usually does. He was supported by Vernon Philander, who’s heard of expensive wickets but doesn’t believe in them; Kagiso Rabada, who’s been pretty much the best fast bowler in the world the last year or so; Keshav Maharaj, who has been successfully bowling spin despite playing half his matches in South Africa; and Duanne Oliver, whose Test bowling average is 18.56.
Sri Lanka were chasing 304 to win after suffering two huge defeats away to Australia and three smaller ones at home to England. They were bowled out for 191 in their first innings.
When Kusal Perera arrived at the crease, his team were 52-3 and only two batsmen in the entire match had got past 55. No-one had made a hundred.
At that moment, Perera’s Test average was 28.6. His one-day average is 29.5.
Kusal Perera made 153 not out off 200 balls and Sri Lanka won.